SPARTA — If all 10 weeks are like this, fans of the Highland and Fredericktown football teams are going to need a doctor.
The Scots and the Freddies put on a show for the 48 full minutes and the winner wasn’t decided until the final tick of the clock went by and everyone’s fingernails were down to the nubs. The Freddies won, 36-32, when Austin Hathaway dove over the pylon with 30 seconds left in the contest, putting the finishing touches of a wild four quarters of football at Highland.
“Our football players really believe in themselves,” said Fredericktown coach Brian Baum. “It’s always a dog fight with Highland. We come in expecting to play four quarters. They work hard, are well coached and every year it’s a tight game.”
After Highland scored with 1:44 left in the game to take the lead, the Freddies put the game in the hands of their sophomore quarterback Hathaway. He connected on three of five passes, including a nice 33-yarder to Curtis Carpenter that put the Freddies in business at Highland’s 8-yard line. On the next play, Hathaway rolled left and dove for the pylon, just inching into the end zone for the game-winning score.
“All I knew is we had 1:44 to score. We knew we could do it,” Baum said. “With an athlete like Austin, he makes things happen.”
Both teams slugged in out for the first 36 minutes with Fredericktown tying up the game at 22 after three quarters with a 20-play, nine minute scoring drive. Then, the fireworks really began.
Highland responded with its patented ground game, grinding out 61 yards from Kyle Minyo and Shawn Beltz on just four plays to get inside Fredericktown’s 10-yard line. But, another costly mistake hurt the Scots, as a penalty moved them back and forced a 25-yard field goal from Quenton Miller.
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